We often imagine our most common website visitor is a potential prospect who is checking out our service offerings, reading through our thought leadership content, and exploring the profiles of our experts. And while this is largely true, for many professional services firms there is another substantial group of users spending time on your website — potential recruits.
The reality is that not every professional services website is built with recruiting in mind though. And this is a mistake! In a competitive marketplace where recruiting top talent continues to be a top challenge, optimizing your website so that potential hires have a positive user experience is essential.
In this post, we’ll explore the role your website plays in attracting top talent and highlight a few ways it can avoid scaring away possible recruits.
Your Website is at the Center of Your Employer Brand
The important role your website plays in the recruiting process isn’t speculation, but rather an insight derived from the Hinge Research Institute’s latest Employer Branding Study. In the study, we asked both job seekers and professional services recruiters what the top elements of an employer brand were. Here are the top five results:
You’ll want to address each of these issues on your firm’s website, but notice that the website itself was called out as a top element of an employer brand.
Similar to the journey buyers take when evaluating you as a service provider, potential employees are seeking information that will help them make the right career choice. Leading recruiting and job board companies like Indeed.com encourage job seekers to check a company’s website for information on its culture, leadership team, and services in preparation for a job interview. Will they be able to find this information on your website?
If your website is disorganized, outdated, lacking sophistication, or rarely updated, you risk scaring away potential recruits who are evaluating you as a possible employer. Your website is critical to your employer brand, so it is essential that you prioritize updating or redesigning it with future job candidates in mind.
Building a Strong Careers Page
Top talent is hard to come by in professional services. That’s why it’s important to have a dedicated Careers page on your firm’s website. You may even want to feature it in your main navigation. When a potential employee arrives at your website, you don’t want them to struggle to find your Careers page.
But all Careers pages are not created equal! What are some ways you could strengthen this page? Here are some ideas:
- Use real photos of your team in action
- Film an overview video highlighting employee culture
- Feature current job postings (or link to your job portal)
- List common benefits and amenities
- Describe what differentiates your company culture
- Use videos or summaries to spotlight employees
- Provide the location of your office(s)
- Call out special groups (interns, students, veterans, etc…)
- Include a form to contact you with questions
This page may be a prospective employee’s first glimpse at your company culture. Make sure you put your best foot forward and tailor it to the kind of prospects you want to hire.
3 Places You Should Link to Your Careers Page
Apart from providing a clear link to your Careers page in your site navigation, there is ample opportunity for you to feature your Careers page on other parts of your website. With the goal of bringing more visibility to your Careers page, consider linking to your Careers page on these other locations on your website.
- Homepage – Your homepage will be the first landing spot for many potential hires. One common way to ensure they navigate to your Careers page is to dedicate a section to your homepage to job seekers. If the mainstage area of your homepage is a slider, then the Careers page can be included as a slide. Alternatively, you could add a small careers panel toward the bottom of your homepage.
- The footer – Users generally expect to find navigation options regarding the company at the bottom of your website in the footer. If your website lists these kinds of links in the footer, consider including the Careers page as an option.
- The About Us page – Almost every professional services website has an About Us page (whether it’s called that or not). As possible job candidates explore your website, many will navigate to your About Us page first. If recruiting is a top priority for your firm, you may want to dedicate a portion of your about us page to job seekers, including a link to your Careers page.
What are Job Seekers Looking For?
Job seekers are not just looking for open positions on your website. Instead, they are looking to make an assessment of your organization as a whole. Can they imagine themselves working for you? What would life be like working with your team? Is there opportunity to grow? Selecting a place to work is one of the most important life decisions a person can make. And now that we live in a digital world, your website will play a critical role in that decision.
In the figure below, we see what drives decision making for job seekers. Sure, they want to be paid well for the work they do. Who doesn’t? And perhaps you can call out your firm’s approach to providing competitive compensation on your Careers page. But most job seekers are looking for more than just competitive pay.
Company culture – Job seekers are looking for a well articulated company culture and a firm that clearly defines its values. Your About Us and Careers pages can help check this box! In the About Us section, dedicate a place to share the story of your firm. As you write these pages, appeal to the imagination of not just your buyers, but also your possible recruits. Tell a story that will appeal to them, as well.
Here is also where the imagery plays a crucial role. If your website is full of clichéed stock images, what message does that send to potential recruits? Not a great one. Real, custom photography and video of your staff at work can bring a website to life.
Opportunity for growth and career advancement – Again we see an opportunity for storytelling to play a role in your Careers section. Can you feature a story about a newbie you hired straight out of college who grew into a major contributor for your organization? Videos and articles showcasing how employees at your company have realized tremendous professional growth and success can be a powerful addition to your Careers page or section.
Doing a variety of interesting and challenging work – Excellent job candidates will likely explore your whole website. As they prepare for a possible interview, it will be essential for them to understand your services and how you’ve helped other clients. Provide detailed information about your service offerings and case stories to illustrate them. Case stories bring to life the kinds of challenges prospective hires might face in their professional life at your firm.
Clear vision for the future/strong leadership – Job seekers want to work with a strong team led by capable leaders. Strong leadership profiles share an individual’s background and credentials in detail. They also often link to a leader’s articles and speeches and can showcase notable projects and accomplishments. And some will even include videos highlighting the executive and their role at the company.
No Time to Wait
Think about your future employees as you assess the strengths and weaknesses of your website. The competition for top talent is fierce. And remember: as the shift toward a more digital recruiting process accelerates, your competitors are recruiting online, too.
There is no time to wait. If your website is missing many of the elements described above — and if recruiting top talent is a high priority at your firm — there’s no better time to make some critical upgrades.